The UN envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh, left the capital Sana’a on Wednesday after failing to convince Houthi rebels to endorse the roadmap for peace.
The proposal was for the Houthis to withdraw from the port of Hodeidah, in the west of the country, as a prelude to concluding a humanitarian truce during the month of Ramadan — starting this weekend — before resuming peace consultations. Anonymous sources said that the Houthis and their ally, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, are intransigent about withdrawing from the strategic port.
The rebels are demanding that the UN should pay the salaries of state employees who have been unpaid for eight months and lift the ban on using Sanaa International Airport as a basis for negotiations. According to Anadolu, Ould Cheikh flew out of the airport without giving any statement to the press.
The Houthi leadership refused to meet with the envoy and commissioned the head of their government, Abdul Aziz Bin Habttour, to meet him instead. Habttour said that the government will “deal with proposals to neutralise the Central Bank” without elaborating on the other proposals which provide for the group’s withdrawal from Hodeidah.